“We don’t need to prospect,” my client said, “Our funnel is overflowing but we aren’t getting new business. We go to these hosted buyer things and come back with a boat load of new prospects. But how do we convert them?”
Hosted buyer appointments can be an awesome way to start a trusting relationship with a new customer. By using the time to uncover what matters to them, provide a snap shot of what you can offer to help them achieve success and building an emotional bond (not, do you have kids?!) but an authentic understanding that you are there to help them succeed, sales people can make the next step easy for themselves.
Unfortunately, most sales people don’t do that. From talking to buyers, many sales people start the appointment by asking questions and then quickly go into their feature dump. They pull out the ipad and start flipping through photos explaining as they go. Occasionally, they stop to ask questions but rarely do they just stop. Instead of starting a relationship – one that they can be comfortable following -up after everyone has returned to work – they focus on providing information.
Even if your prospect says to you, “Yes, please tell me about your property,” please don’t – other than very quickly and in general – until understanding what about the property she wants to know. Here is how I might answer:
“Thank you for asking! ABC has a depth of experience taking care of important events that you can rely on. It’s absolutely war and welcoming/fun and energizing/luxurious yet totally comfortable and so that I respect your time, may I ask you a few questions about what makes your meetings a success?”
When you have the answers to those questions, whether you are the sales person who follows up the lead from the hosted buyer appointment, or you hand it off to someone in another office or with a different vertical, you can develop a meaningful relationship and business.
But prospecting doesn’t end at the show floor.
What do your follow-up emails sound like? Do they revert to transactional zombie-like messaging? And what happens after that?
If your sales funnel is overflowing at the entry point, but not paying off, think again about your prospecting conversations and follow-up.
Is it time for your team to update their skills?